Playing with Matches

“We don’t seek conflict with Russia but we are ready.”

—Antony Blinken, March 4, 2022

We don’t seek conflict with Russia
but we are ready, make no mistake.
The finger that pushes the button
will not tremble, the hand will not shake.

When pillars of fire crown the silos
and tridents breach the blue depths,
we are ready with radio silence
and blackouts and camouflage nets.

At undisclosed sites, we are ready
with body bags, hardtack and guns.
We are ready for the flash and the fireball
that will glow like a thousand suns.

We are ready with iodine tablets
and letters of last resort,
with sudoku, toilet roll, sanctions
and the Int. Criminal Court.

Let none doubt America stands ready
and resolute, as in God we trust,
ready to be charred and irradiated
to a pittance of cinders and dust.



Aidan Casey was born in Dublin, Ireland and studied English and Philosophy at University College Dublin. Since then, he has taught English in Spain and Germany, where he now lives.

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20 Responses

  1. Mike Bryant

    The poem is well conceived and very well done. Nuclear war may be the only way for our kind masters to hold onto power beyond the mid-term elections. The number of expected deaths will not figure into that calculation.

  2. Sally Cook

    What an unspeakable concept; closer now than ever. Your strong poem asks a big question and portrays us as victims, caught with an unknown power struggle. Lets hope our votes count for something.

    • Dan Ward

      Reagan knew how to deal with the bear in the woods. Now we have a bear and a dragon who are wagering we will back down, and a senile president sending mixed messages that the White House has to keep walking back. I can’t imagine a more dangerous recipe for miscalculation and disaster.

  3. Rachel

    Fantastic juxtaposition of “letters of last resort” with “sudoku” and “toilet roll.” I almost snickered in the middle of a nuclear war poem. Oh the highs and lows of being mortal!

  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    I remember the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. Nuclear war was fully expected to occur when the Russian fleet confronted our blockade of Cuban waters. The naval commanders on both sides had full authority to commence action on their own initiative if warranted. The entire world was paralyzed with fear. (In England, they had to put Bertrand Russell under heavy sedation.)

    And now we have idiots like Biden and Blinken and Liz Cheney and the entire pack of cretinous neocons rattling sabers and threatening Armageddon, as if all of this were nothing but a game on a computer screen!

    And FOR WHAT? To help some stinking and corrupt Ukrainian regime (run by a comedian) hang on to power and repress Russian minorities in the Donbass regions? Is this why thousands of Russian and Ukrainian soldiers have to die, why billions of American and European funds have to be flushed down the toilet, and why the entire world has to be on the edge of a fiery immolation? For a goddamned failed comedian backed by George Soros?

    There are some necessary wars, and some that are not necessary. If you think the Donbass regions, or even the entire Ukraine, is worth World War III, well… I think you need a complete re-education in what the word “necessary” means.

    Great satiric poem, Mr. Casey.

      • Paul Freeman

        Maybe Alaska’s up next for annexing, considering America bought it from a tyrannical, debt-ridden czar.

        As for the Donbass, I’m sure Sudetenland was equally obscure back in the day.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Like all liberals, Paul, you never seem to be able to make a coherent point.

        Thanks for the read.

      • Paul Freeman

        Strange how you always complain about people labeling right of centre folk as fascist or racist, yet you feel free to throw around the ‘liberal’ label to dismiss anyone who doesn’t agree with you in an effort to cancel their voice.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Well, all you have to do, Paul, is tell us frankly whether you are a liberal or not. Wouldn’t that clear up the matter? Or are your politics a deep dark secret?

        And I have never tried to cancel anyone.

      • Paul Freeman

        I see things without political affiliation or a need to be pigeonholed. I’m just a free-thinking person.

        How sad that there is an ‘us’ that feel they need to vet others’ thoughts. Didn’t Orwell have something to say about this?

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Get off it, Paul. Nobody is “vetting” your thoughts. Your problem is that you simply can’t stand it when anyone answers your statements, and you then immediately pose as an aggrieved “victim” who is being persecuted.

        That happens to be one of the telltale signs of liberalism.

      • Paul Freeman

        ‘That happens to be one of the telltale signs of liberalism.’ … according to someone who claims to be the victim of election fraud, the mainstream media, etc, etc….

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Yes, Paul — there are real instances of injustice and persecution, like a rigged and stolen 2020 election, the complete control of MSM by left-wing ideologists, Star-Chamber kangaroo court for January 6 protestors, and a helluva lot of other stuff. Abusus non tollit usus.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Sorry — it should be “usum,” not “usus.” When I get angry I tend to forget my accusatives.

  5. Paul Freeman

    An interesting, satirical take on the war and the possible escalation into the realm of nukes – dirty or otherwise.

    Thanks for the read, Aiden.

  6. Aidan

    I would just like to thank everyone for the kind comments and acute observations. Because Europe has become a place where you pay (taxes) to be silenced and lied to, it is extraordinarily refreshing to find a forum where contrarian opinions can be freely expressed and discussed.

  7. Geoffrey S.

    This poem is a pointed rebuke to Blinken’s reckless rhetoric, and could be read by Slim Pickens as he rides the bomb in Dr. Strangelove. It’s fascinating that former tie-dyed, sandal-wearing, peaceniks have become globalist pro-nuke warmongers.

  8. Lannie David Brockstein

    Aidan, like the speaker in your “Playing with Matches”, none of us here in Canada are concerned. Why not? Because we Canadians now have the censorious Bill C-11 to complement our state sponsored news media outlets that all preach diversity whilst having no diversity of narrative, whatsoever.

    Thankfully, President Brandon and his transhuman cult of Climate Change Priests have progressed to using the computer models of the U.K.’s art-feeding Just Stop Oil environmental activist group, in order to scientifically weigh Big Pharma’s demented, I mean splendid, risk-benefit ratio in relation to the question of NATO using nuclear weapons to cull billions of genocidal “unvaccinated” racists and misogynists, or letting those useless eaters to continue causing climate change.

    We Canadians have no need to question anything said by the television-robot that is all-knowing, because its programming has reassured us that radioactive fallout from a nuclear war between Russia and the West will actually save the planet from climate change! That is, in the “Event 201” that the noble liar Dr. Fauci and his experimental mRNA “vaccine” product for the independent “Arnican” terrorist group’s gain-of-function novel monkeypox virus, as war-gamed by the NTI, doesn’t fell billions of Climate Changing People first!

    Keep Calm and Armageddon On!

    NTI paper – “Strengthening Global Systems to Prevent and Respond to High-Consequence Biological Threats” (“Scenario Design Summary” on page 10):


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